Banning Banalities: Reclaiming the Language of Expression

Throughout history, certain expressions arise from creativity and twist language into new and imaginative forms.

These expressions gain popularity, peak in their usage, then become almost too commonplace. Therein lies the problem.

I’d like to suggest two we should bury for the sake of intelligent conversation. The sound of these overused expressions tortures the senses.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “awesome” meaning “inspiring reverential awe” goes back to 1598. The meaning of “overwhelming” goes to 1961, and the current weaker meaning of “great” dates from 1980. The term gradually lost its awesomeness over the years.

I say let’s finish it off and kill it. Wouldn’t that be like awesome?

Back in the day

There is no such thing. There is the past, perhaps worth remembering perhaps not, but it seems a poor way to give an example of something better. Upon closer examination, one would inevitably find the memory is clouded by the fog of nostalgia. It may have been different but it wasn’t necessarily better. Live in the moment to make these times memorable, don’t long for a whitewashed past.

We all have words and phrases we fall back on. When these expressions turn into crowdspeak, permeating every conversation, they need to be excised.

What are your most despised expressions?





About Joe Broadmeadow

Joe Broadmeadow retired with the rank of Captain from the East Providence Police Department after serving for 20 years. He is the author of four novels Collision Course, Silenced Justice, Saving the Last Dragon, and A Change of Hate available on Amazon in print and Kindle. Joe is working on the latest in a series of Josh Williams and Harrison "Hawk" Bennett novels and a sequel to Saving the Last Dragon. In 2014 Joe completed a 2,185 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail
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9 Responses to Banning Banalities: Reclaiming the Language of Expression

  1. Sue Coletta says:

    I use “awesome” and “wicked” all the time. Oh, and “cool.”

  2. Martha Witt says:

    I am a high school substitute and would love to hear one sentence without the f-word.

  3. Peggy says:

    I also use awesome,cool and great.I also use the words a lot, a lot.

  4. Karen says:

    I hate when pundits and guest begin a sentence with “look” and “well I mean””

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